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May 11, 2012
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UW Medicine creates Palliative Care Center of Excellence
Providing outstanding, compassionate palliative care for patients with serious or life-threatening illness is important for the well-being of patients and families and the value it brings to their lives. Palliative care was recently added to the UW Medicine strategic plan as one of its priority areas.
I am pleased to announce that UW Medicine has established a Palliative Care Center of Excellence. The Center will bring together nationally recognized UW experts in palliative care to make the UW Medicine a national leader in this area. The Palliative Care Center of Excellence will integrate research, clinical, and educational activities.
The goal of this Center is to enhance current research while providing increased opportunities to develop new research collaborations and to enhance coordination and collaboration of palliative care clinical services and educational programs across the UW Medicine sites as well as the UW Health Science Schools.
J. Randall (Randy) Curtis, UW professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, has agreed to serve as the Center director. Anthony L. (Tony) Back, UW professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology, will serve as co-director.
The Center will coordinate and augment the clinical palliative care services provided throughout UW Medicine and the region through key activities such as development and implementation of standards, program evaluation, program development support, and integration with research and educational activities.
Drs. Curtis and Back are national leaders in palliative care and were each recently recognized by awards from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The Center's leaders and members from across all of the Health Science Schools and UW Medicine sites will work toward increased interdisciplinary and interprofessional collaborations.
Please join me in supporting the activities of this important new Center as it develops over the coming several years.
Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
William Foege, an alumnus of the UW School of Medicine and affiliate professor of epidemiology in the UW School of Public Health, was one of 13 individuals selected by President Barack Obama to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. The award honors individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The awards will be presented at the White House in late spring.
President Obama said, “These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our Nation. They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award.” Foege helped lead the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He was appointed Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1977 and helped found the Task Force for Child Survival in 1984. Foege became executive director of The Carter Center in 1986 and continues to serve the organization as a senior fellow. He helped shape the global health work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and remains a champion of a wide array of issues, including child survival and development, injury prevention, and preventative medicine. Foege’s leadership has contributed significantly to increased awareness and action on global health issues. His enthusiasm, energy, and effectiveness in these endeavors have inspired a generation of leaders in public health. Another recipient with ties to the UW is Gordon Hirabayashi who as a UW undergraduate openly defied the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. He was convicted of defying the exclusion order and violating curfew and was imprisoned. Following World War II and his time in prison, Hirabayashi obtained his doctoral degree in sociology and became a professor. In 1987, his conviction was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Hirabayashi died on January 2, 2012.
President Obama said, “These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our Nation. They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award.”
Foege helped lead the successful campaign to eradicate smallpox in the 1970s. He was appointed Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1977 and helped found the Task Force for Child Survival in 1984. Foege became executive director of The Carter Center in 1986 and continues to serve the organization as a senior fellow. He helped shape the global health work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and remains a champion of a wide array of issues, including child survival and development, injury prevention, and preventative medicine. Foege’s leadership has contributed significantly to increased awareness and action on global health issues. His enthusiasm, energy, and effectiveness in these endeavors have inspired a generation of leaders in public health.
Another recipient with ties to the UW is Gordon Hirabayashi who as a UW undergraduate openly defied the forced relocation and internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. He was convicted of defying the exclusion order and violating curfew and was imprisoned. Following World War II and his time in prison, Hirabayashi obtained his doctoral degree in sociology and became a professor. In 1987, his conviction was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Hirabayashi died on January 2, 2012.
Evan Eichler elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Eichler’s lab studies hotspots in human and animal genomes. These are regions that have undergone rapid structural changes from jumping or duplicated segments. Technologies developed by his group have advanced the understanding of primate evolution, and also of mutations linked to intellectual and mental disabilities, and autism.
Eichler graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1990 and earned a doctorate from Baylor College of Medicine in 1995. He joined the UW faculty in 2004.
James Bardeen, UW professor emeritus of physics, and Ann Nelson, UW professor of physics, were also elected to the academy.
Bardeen is a theoretical physicist who has specialized in general relativity. Nelson, also a physics professor, specializes in the physics of particles and fields.
Their selection brings to 68 the total number UW faculty named to the National Academy of Sciences. The three will join 81 other scientists to be formally inducted next April during the academy's 150th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
There are 2,152 active members of the National Academy of Sciences. Nearly 200 living members have won Nobel prizes. The academy was founded in 1863. Its membership has included Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright, and Alexander Graham Bell.
Visit the National Academy of Sciences website for a list of newly elected members.
Too much manganese linked to neurodegeneration, says study
Sidney Gospe, the Herman and Faye Sarkowsky Endowed Chair of Child Neurology at the UW and Seattle Children’s, cared for a patient for more than a decade who had a “perplexing multi-system disorder characterized by astronomical levels of manganese in his blood along with a progressive gait disturbance, polycythemia and cirrhosis.” Gospe, then on faculty at the University of California Davis, published the case in the Archives of Disease in Childhood in 2000.
Eight years after that paper was published, two somewhat similar patients were encountered in the UK and a publication resulted from their evaluation. The group in the UK then began to explore the genetics of this disorder and Gospe provided them with DNA from his patient. A few other cases around the world were also identified and studied. The group was able to demonstrate that mutations in the SLC30A10 gene are responsible for this inherited type of hypermanganesemia. Previously, SLC30A10 had been presumed to be a zinc transporter. However, this work has confirmed that in people SLC30A10 functions as a manganese transporter that, when defective, causes manganese accumulation in liver and brain. While somewhat similar symptoms can be seen in patients who are intoxicated by environmental manganese, this is the first known inherited disorder of manganese metabolism. This is an important step toward understanding manganese transport and its role in neurodegenerative processes.
Gospe and his colleagues published their study “Syndrome of Hepatic Cirrhosis, Dystonia, Polycythemia, and Hypermanganesemia Caused by Mutations in SLC30A10, a Manganese Transporter in Man” in The American Journal of Human Genetics, March 9, 2012.
Quarterly research funding report: January - March 2012
UW Medicine’s Hall Health Primary Care Center has been renovated to meet the rapidly growing demand for more accessible health care by students and employees on campus.
Originally built in 1936 and last expanded in 1975, Hall Health had 40 exam rooms. It now has increased capacity with 51 exam rooms and an additional 12 counseling rooms dedicated to mental healthcare.
“We modernized and expanded to enhance the patient experience and patient flow,” David C. Dugdale, Hall Health director and UW professor of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine, said, “The whole inner footprint of the practice has changed. We have modernized the floor plan and reception area and added a centralized waiting room that improves patient privacy and patient flow.”
Using a quality model called PASCO (Patient safety, Access, Satisfaction, Cost and Outcome), the renovation was designed to increase the quality of care by improving the environment of care, including improved privacy, safety and security, layout efficiency, comfortable furnishings, temperature and aesthetics.
The renovation increases Hall Health’s capacity to provide the full spectrum of primary care, including obstetrics for prenatal care, mental health services, public health services, services for children of students, sports medicine, travel medicine, dermatology and physical therapy. The center also has lab, X-ray and pharmacy facilities on site.
With an estimated 85,000 patient contacts a year, the expansion also accommodates future demands of students and others in the UW community, Dugdale said.
“Demographic changes in the student body will change how people use us,” he added. “The UW has built more dormitories to enhance the student experience. As a result, there are more students within walking distance of Hall Health than ever. We can also serve increasing numbers of out-of-state and international students who will less likely have a local medical contact. And there are a fair number of UW employees who will find having access to primary care on campus a great benefit. Who wouldn’t like to be able to walk to their doctor’s office?”
International healthcare technology and services company Global Healthcare Exchange (GHX) has awarded Valley Medical Center (VMC) the GHXcellence Award for U.S. Provider of the Year: Small to Mid-size Facility. VMC earned the award for finding opportunities in the supply chain to cut costs, reduce waste and improve business performance while improving patient care.
GHXellence Awards are based on specific metrics for automating supply chain processes and creating efficiencies. Key outcome measurements include an increase in the percentage of purchase order lines and electronic trading partners, as well as reductions in order and invoice discrepancies and errors.
“We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award,” said Lindy Dillingham, director of Materials Management at Valley Medical Center. “One of the most significant contributions the supply chain can make to a hospital is offering new ways to reduce the costs associated with providing healthcare. Negotiating lower prices is no longer enough. Our integration with GHX and its electronic ‘procure to pay’ process, coupled with a serious commitment by VMC to reduce costs has enabled us to achieve significant savings. To be ranked as No. 1 out of 3,600 GHX organizations across the country proves that our approach to savings is working and we couldn’t be more pleased.”
Valley Medical Center was recognized at the GHX 2012 Healthcare Supply Chain Summit in Orlando, Fla., earlier this week. The Summit is the largest event in healthcare that covers the entire supply chain and brings participants together to address common issues.
Carlos Pellegrini, the Henry N. Harkins Professor and Chair of the UW Department of Surgery, will receive the 2012 Andrew L. Warshaw Master Educator Award from the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract Foundation. The honor is in recognition of exemplifying excellence as a mentor, teacher and educator. The award will be presented May 20 at the society’s annual meeting in San Diego.
The award was established in 2010 to recognize an outstanding surgical educator and mentor. The Committee Chairs of the SSAT Education Working Group selected Pellegrini for the award.
As an educator and mentor, Pellegrini is dedicated to training students to become “total” doctors, not just surgeons. He is interested in how to best train the next generation of physicians to advance patient safety through the use of simulation and new surgical techniques.
Pellegrini is a world-renowned surgeon in the area of esophageal diseases, including gastroesophageal reflux and benign and malignant esophageal problems.
Jennifer Kasten, has been named a Scientist Scholar by the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS). Her project, “Transplantation of Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Hepatocytes to Treat Single Enzyme Liver Defects” will attempt to develop a gene therapy vector to palliate congenital metabolic defects which now require orthotopic liver transplantation.
Each year ASTS selects two residents from across the country to be Genentech Scientist Scholars. The award supports full research funding for two years in translational and basic science research in transplantation and transplant immunobiology. The Department of Surgery has had two other recent ASTS Scientist Scholars: David Mathes, associate professor of surgery in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and attending physician at UW Medical Center and the VA Puget Sound Health Care System; and Tom Varghese, director of the thoracic surgery program at Harborview Medical Center. In addition, Yvonne Carter, a 2002 UW thoracic surgery resident and now assistant professor of surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., was an awardee.
Faculty in the health sciences professions are invited to apply to the 2012-2013 Teaching Scholars Program, a ten-month professional development program for health professionals who want to improve their teaching and academic leadership skills. The program runs from Sept. 18, 2012 to June 18, 2013 and includes a one-day teambuilding session on Sept. 25. Applications are due by June 30, 2012.
Teaching Scholars, in existence since 1995, is based in the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education. Program participants meet one morning weekly throughout the academic year for scholarly discussion and guided reflection.
The program emphasizes the development of practical teaching skills in the context of understanding educational theory and research. Each participant completes an education research project, with the assistance of a faculty mentor from the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education. Participants also meet with UW Health Sciences Center leaders to develop an understanding of administrative operations of the Health Sciences Center and to develop a network of contacts.
Past Teaching Scholars include faculty from anesthesiology, biobehavioral nursing, biological structure, dermatology, emergency medicine, family medicine, gastroenterology, general internal medicine, gerontology and geriatrics, pediatric dentistry, psychiatry, pharmacy, pulmonary and critical care medicine, rehabilitation medicine, medical history and ethics, and other health professions.
For application requirements, visit the Teaching Scholars Program website and press the "Register Now" button.
Sen. Mark Begich visited the Alaska WWAMI Program May 2. He met with first-year medical students in a question and answer session and toured the simulation center, class and conference rooms in the new College of Health at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Afterward, he met with senior Alaska WWAMI leadership on medical education issues important to Alaska. These include funding for graduate medical education.
Sen. Begich has been a long-term supporter of the Alaska WWAMI program, first as Mayor of Anchorage and now in his third year representing Alaska in the U.S. Senate. He sent a video greeting and comments for the successful 40th anniversary celebration of the Alaska WWAMI program this past fall. He is a member of the Senate Budget Committee, Committee on Veternans’ Affairs, Armed Services Committee, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard and Commerce Science and Transportation.
Watch Sen. Begich’s video greeting to the WWAMI program.
Longtime Anchorage neurosurgeon Louis Kralick has pledged funds to the University of Alaska Anchorage to establish the Louis Kralick M.D. Alaska WWAMI Professorship in Biomedical Science, the program's first-ever professorship.
Kralick's gift to UAA and Alaska WWAMI is an investment in medical education in Alaska and aims to attract high-caliber medical faculty from across the nation to Anchorage. The initial gift is a two-year commitment. Further funding will come from his private foundation.
"With all my years of practice in Alaska, the state has become my adopted home," says Kralick. "It is only fitting that I give back to enhance the future of medicine in Alaska.”
The gift will enable the Alaska WWAMI Program to hire a senior researcher and faculty to UAA. Robert Furilla, Alaska WWAMI interim director, says Kralick's contribution "will allow WWAMI to continue to improve what is already an excellent educational experience for Alaska's medical students. The endowed professorship will add depth and inspiration by bringing world class expertise to Alaska's future physicians."
The following events may be of interest to the UW Medicine community:
21st Annual Visiting Scholar in Cardiothoracic Surgery, May 11
The Tricuspid Valve in Congenital and Acquired Heart Disease, by Pedro del Nido, 3:30 t 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 11, Health Sciences Building, Room K-069. Del Nido is chief of cardiac surgery at Children’s Hospital Boston and director of the Cardiac Surgery Research Laboratory at the hospital. The lecture is presented by the UW Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. A reception will follow the lecture. Contact Kelsey Hobbs at 206.221.4603 or email@example.com for more information.
Free Women’s Health Forum, May 16
The UW Medicine Women’s Health Forum will be held from 5:15 to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 16, at the UW Tower, 4333 Brooklyn Ave., Seattle. The forum is designed to encourage women to be proactive in their health and healthcare. UW Medicine obstetrics and gynecology faculty will discuss cancer prevention, detection and treatment, HPV (a virus associated with cervical cancer), genetic testing for cancer risk, fertility preservation for cancer patients, robotic-assisted surgery and other timely subjects. Speakers include Barbara Goff, director of the Division of Gynecological Oncology; Heidi Gray, associate director of the Division of Gynecological Oncology; Kathleen Lin, reproductive health and fertility specialist; Elizabeth Swisher, director of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Prevention Program; and Renata Urban, director of Gynecologic Oncology Education. Register online or by calling 206.598.1490.
2012 Physicians’ Oath and Hooding Ceremony, June 2
The UW’s 63rd School of Medicine graduating class will Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degrees at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 2, in the Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Paul Ramsey, CEO of UW Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine, will administer the Hippocratic Oath or Physician’s Oath, a reminder of the standards of performance and behavior that guide the medical profession. Contact Trish Zander at 206.616.8221 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
WWAMI program to culminate 40th anniversary celebrations in Seattle, June 3
Faculty, residents, students, alumni and guests are invited to the culmination of region-wide celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the WWAMI program, 5:30 to 9:00 p.m., Sunday, June 3, at the Metropolitan Ball Room, Sheraton Seattle Hotel, 1400 6th Ave. Keynote speakers will reflect on the meaning and importance of WWAMI’s accomplishments. Dan Evans, who was Washington governor when WWAMI started, will speak about WWAMI’s beginnings. RSVP to Todd Carey at email@example.com or 206.543.8578 by May 18.
All-WWAMI Academic Retreat for Education (AWARE), June 3 - 4
10th Annual Alvord Lecture in Neuropathology, June 6
Neuropathology of SIDS: Reflection in Honor of Dr. Ellsworth “Buster” Alvord by Hannah Kinney, 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 6, UW Genome Sciences Building, Foege Auditorium. Kinney is professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School and an associate in medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston. The lecture is in memory of the life and scientific legacy of Ellsworth C. Buster Alvord, Jr., professor of pathology and chief of UW Medical Center Neuropathology from 1960 to 2002. Alvord died in 2010. For more information visit the UW Medicine Pathology website or contact Stever Berard at 206.685.0564 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing Medical Education
Visit Continuing Medical Education for more information on upcoming classes.
Mountains & Minds features first-year medical student Raima Amin
Montana WWAMI first-year medical student, Raima Amin is profiled in Mountains & Minds, the Montana State University magazine. Amin answers questions about representing Islam, excellence and the meaning of home.